Ruperto Chapi - String Quartets Nos 1 & 2 | Sono Luminus DSL92185

Ruperto Chapi - String Quartets Nos 1 & 2


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Label: Sono Luminus

Cat No: DSL92185

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 2nd March 2015



The history of the string quartet genre in Spain arguably begins with the luminous and crisp quartets by Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805), a composer who was Italian by birth, but a Spaniard in heart, spirit and language. Half a century later we would witness the three landmark quartets written by that prodigious and promising young comet called Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga (1806-1826). But since the tragic and untimely death of the 'Spanish Mozart', the creation of string quartets in Spain seemed to sink into a lethargy which would last until the beginnings of the 20th century.

During the year 1901, the Cuarteto Francés was formed in Madrid. This string quartet encouraged local composers to write quartets, several of which were premiered in its concerts. This initiative triggered the writing of the first Spanish Post-romantic masterpieces for quartet. Among them were the fourteen quartets by Conrado del Campo (himself a member of the Cuarteto Francés), the quartets by Tomás Bretón, the string quartet ('de la guitarra') by Joaquín Turina and, of course, the four string quartets by Ruperto Chapí, by then a well established and successful composer who had never written any chamber music!

The four quartets by Chapí burst like a fresh breeze in the Spanish chamber music landscape. Here is a composer who masterfully captures the Spanish character - the poise, the sincerity and, above all, the simple joy of a nation that had suffered too much. Chapí brilliantly funnels the colour and pure Spanish drama of the zarzuela into the almost abstract and Central European genre of the string quartet.

Cuarteto Latinoamericano, formed in 1982, is known worldwide as the leading proponent of Latin American music for string quartet. This Latin Grammy winning ensemble from Mexico consists of the three Bitrán brothers, violinists Saúl and Arón and cellist Alvaro, along with violist Javier Montiel. The Cuarteto has recorded most of the Latin American repertoire for string quartet.

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